Monthly Archives: December 2003

Please Read Warning Label

My family and I went in together on giving my brother a new computer for Christmas this year. In an effort to keep costs down I decided to build him an Athlon XP 2500+ based PC. Like me he’s pretty much been a Macintosh user all his life, but he’s pretty computer savvy so I figured he could pick things up pretty quickly.

I ordered all the components and a sweet case from newegg.com. I spent several hours assembling, testing, installing, and configuring everything once they arrived at my house and finished everything up just in time to package it up and haul it across the state the weekend before Christmas. I didn’t really have time to throw any instructions or the like, but I figured that Micah wouldn’t have too much trouble.

I spoke to Micah briefly Christmas Day morning and he seemed pretty excited. I was driving at the time so we cut it short and I figured I’d probably hear from him in a day or so with some questions. A few more days than I expected passed and I thought to myself, well he must be getting along just fine with his new machine. Cool.

Then yesterday the call came. It was Micah and he had installed Kazaa.

I groaned inwardly as I listened to his tale of woe. After the adware that comes along with Kazaa started to take over his computer he downloaded something to remove that (but not Kazaa itself) and at some point his computer’s internet connectivity stopped working.

While I’m relatively comfortable with Windows XP, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert, especially when working over the phone. I spent an hour walking him through some things and we actually made things worse when he accidentally uninstalled his graphics drivers. Unfortunate he couldn’t just download them again because he still didn’t have internet connectivity when I got off the phone with him.

In the end I basically had to tell him that he was on his own for the time being, but to call me in a day or two if he still didn’t have things working and I would take another shot.

I guess I should have put a large warning label on the computer case before I gave it to him that said Do Not Install Kazaa On This Machine.